Former Vice President Joe Biden is the Democratic Party’s de facto presidential nominee — and now everyone is talking about who he might choose as his running mate.
Traditionally, candidates put together a short list of possible choices and narrow them down through thorough research and a series of interviews. Sometimes the final selection is a nod to a worthy primary opponent, sometimes simply an attempt to broaden a candidate’s base.
Biden announced earlier this week that he was putting together a campaign committee to assist him in selecting his vice presidential candidate, saying that he expected the committee to be formed by May 1. He also said that he planned to have his list narrowed to just a few fully-vetted choices by sometime in July.
Biden Says He Will Announce VP Selection Committee By May 1. https://t.co/l4lKEH4039
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 23, 2020
“The first and most important quality is someone who, if I were to walk away immediately from the Office for whatever reason that they can be president and the public could look at that person and say she is capable of being President of the United States tomorrow,” Biden said.
Biden also repeated what he has said on a number of occasions — that he is fully committed to choosing a female vice president.
While Biden’s campaign has not given any indication who might be on his short list, there is one person the former vice president has admitted is on his wish list: former First Lady Michelle Obama.
“I’d take her in a heartbeat. She’s brilliant. She knows the way around. She is a really fine woman.” — Joe Biden on Michelle Obama as VPhttps://t.co/96Jup4XPxQ
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) April 21, 2020
Calling Obama “brilliant,” Biden said he would choose her as his running mate “in a heartbeat,” and Dr. Jill Biden appeared to be on the same page.
Jill Biden: Michelle Obama would be a ‘wonderful’ VP https://t.co/PX89jdUMsd
— MSN (@MSN) April 24, 2020
Reports are that Team Joe Biden are quite literally begging Michelle Obama to be his Vice President.
— DeAnna Lorraine ???????? (@DeAnna4Congress) April 18, 2020
But Biden may be out of luck: former White House adviser Valerie Jarrett said that Obama isn’t interested in the job.
— Ed O’Keefe (@edokeefe) April 22, 2020
“No chance,” Jarrett told The Hill, adding, “The reason why I’m being so unequivocal is that there just simply has never been a time when she’s expressed an interest in running for office. She’s not demurring here. She’s not being hard to get. She doesn’t want the job.”
With Obama potentially out of the running — even if Biden remains limited to only female candidates — there are still quite a few names being floated as possible choices.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 23, 2020
CNN’s Chris Cillizza published a list of ten likely choices Thursday, from failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (ranked 10th) to California Sen. Kamala Harris (1st), leaving out Michelle Obama for a number of reasons.
So if it won’t be Obama, the next question is whether it will be a black woman. That would rule out two of Biden’s former primary opponents — Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar — as well as Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Sunny Hostin, host of ABC’s “The View,” has said that it’s important for Biden’s running mate to be a woman of color — more specifically a black woman — because Hostin argues that black women make up his most reliable voting bloc and deserve the credit for resurrecting his campaign going into South Carolina’s primary. (RELATED: Sunny Hostin Says Biden’s VP Should Be A Black Woman Because Black Women Will ‘Have To Risk Their Lives To Vote’)
.@sunny: “The road to the White House is powered by black women — there’s just no question about it. No Democratic presidential nominee has won the White House in over 40 years without the support, the leadership and the vote from black women.” pic.twitter.com/93NTGaexMM
— The View (@TheView) April 24, 2020
Hostin and short-lister Abrams discussed the topic and Abrams agreed that it would be a “concern” if Biden were to choose a white woman.
Stacey Abrams tells @TheView she thinks that Vice President Biden is “going to make a smart choice” in picking a running mate, but adds that she does have “concerns” about Biden “not picking a woman of color.” https://t.co/5438dx55qW pic.twitter.com/NjwpbSMoL1
— The View (@TheView) April 23, 2020
Abrams has taken heat for what appears to be an active campaign for the vice presidential nod. Despite saying a year ago that she didn’t intend to “campaign for second place,” she has made numerous media appearances in recent weeks, selling herself as a qualified choice for the job.
— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) April 24, 2020
At this point, Abrams is basically standing outside Joe Biden’s house with a boombox https://t.co/X2BhRXVJVF
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) April 22, 2020
“I would be an excellent running mate”
Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams says she would be “honored” to be chosen as former Vice President Joe Biden’s running mate. https://t.co/yf2Szqv06O
— CNN (@CNN) April 15, 2020
Abrams and Hostin are not alone in their campaign to steer Biden toward a black woman, however.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 24, 2020
Others whose names have been floated seem to be aware of their position on Biden’s potential shortlist, but don’t appear to be campaigning for the role.
.@GovWhitmer, on possibly being on Biden’s VP shortlist, tells @rickklein & @jonkarl on Powerhouse Politics: “I want to be supportive-whatever role I can do that-whether it’s helping him vet someone or it’s just helping try to get out the word here…”https://t.co/hkmCgfJL1R
— Kendall Karson (@kendallkarson) April 22, 2020
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 16, 2020
Check back next week for an update on the Democratic Presidential Primary.